Rodić Davidson Architects

Market Square, Reading

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Located in Reading’s town centre, this large site consisting of several different properties has been derelict for the past ten years. Our client is seeking a new use for the site; as a destination for six large retail units surrounding a new public courtyard with residential accommodation above.

Our proposal consists of a new mixed-use building to the west and three listed buildings to the east. By cutting away the poor quality rear extensions to the listed buildings and opening up the new-build site, we have also created a new public courtyard. This improves the setting of the listed buildings and provides a sense of place for the new residents.

The new building is conceived as a stack of smaller properties; appropriately sized to this corner of Reading and respecting the older built environment and vernacular. The listed buildings which complete the block were used as scale and proportion prototypes to create a toolkit of building blocks for the new build element of the proposal.

The scheme maximises the size of the development, bringing the new building to more than twice the height of the existing building by aligning the massing away from key town heritage assets and ensuring the new building doesn’t appear dominant across key townscape views. GIA is more than doubled.

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